Two-thirds of bosses believe the ability to manage stress effectively is a very important skill for a successful business career, according to new research.
A study by the Aziz Corporation communications consultancy found that the most managers (92%) think that placing staff under a certain degree of pressure can be a positive factor in ensuring that targets and deadlines are met, and that a business is run efficiently.
Aziz Corporation chairman, Khalid Aziz, said: "Although stress has become a buzzword and is often used to account for all kinds of ailments and conditions, it is interesting that such a high proportion of managers believe that some degree of stress can be positive.
"The key is to manage stress effectively, so that instead of spiralling out of control, the pressures of the workplace can be harnessed and put to positive effect."
The research reveals that more than half of the managers questioned (58%) believe that the general level of stress among the people working in their organisation is about right.
However, there is also a widespread concern that stress is set to become the 'new backache' - ie, a vague and difficult-to-prove excuse for absenteeism - and 79% of managers believe that employees use stress as an excuse for absence from work. Additionally, 87% believe that businesses will face an increasing number of stress-related compensation claims over the next five years.
The survey also found that while a third of managers deal with stress by having a drink or two after work, the most common means of coping with work-related stress is to exercise and keep fit (65%), followed by eating healthily (63%) and getting a good night's sleep (59%).